Tag Archives: choices

In the Middle of My Pain

In the middle of my pain ….

 

The emotions are overwhelming, like the roar of high tide.  They kick at peace, scream at hope, and laugh at joy.

 

The tears flow like a storm in the summer, heavy then scattered, as the emotions ebb and flow.  They may stop for a moment, but they are never far from being expelled again upon the day.

 

And it feels like being pushed out of a plane at 30,000 feet … without a parachute.

Complete hopelessness.

Complete desperation.

Complete sadness.

In the Middle of My Pain.jpg

I can see God beyond the desert of heart break and hopelessness, but I cannot reach Him.  I am too caught up in the storm, being thrashed and toss, to find the place of escape to run to Him.  I am trapped within my thoughts, a prisoner of grief and anger and hopelessness.

 

I cry out.  Hoping for release.  Praying for escape.  Longing for peace.

 

And then I feel Him come to me, reaching out His gentle hand with great compassion.

He wants to help me.

He wants to hold me.

He wants to heal me.

 

Right where I am.

As the storm rages.

As the skies boom.

As the rivers overflow.

 

Yet will I let go of the storm cloud I suddenly find myself grasping tightly?  Yes, I look down at my hand and find it closed against God’s goodness.  I find my mind struggling to insert His grace into any crack or crevice … but my heart is too wounded to do anything but shove it aside.  I am too consumed with justification to see His peace wanting to take me over.

 

I am a slave to my emotions.

I am a whipping boy of my thoughts.

I am a prison of my circumstances.

 

But thank God there is always another way!

 

Because in the middle of my pain the choice is always mine.

Stay and sulk.

Or release and renew.

 

I can continue to hold onto the storm that wants to submerge me and drown me.  Or I can stand still, take a deep breath, and trust God to help me out of the storm into His great purposes.

 

So in the middle of my pain, who will I be?

 

Will I be Israel?  As they stood at the edge of the Red Sea, with Egypt chasing hard after them, they allowed fear to rule their hearts and cried out for death (Exodus 14:10-12).  As they stood in the valley facing the armored Philistine warrior, they allowed fear to immobilize them from walking in God’s power (1 Samuel 17:11).  As they heard the reports of the spies, they allowed fear to blind them to God’s ability to overcome every obstacle and every “bad report” (Numbers 13:31-33).

 

Or will I be Moses? Will I hear God say “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today” (Exodus 14:13) and trust Him to make a way?

 

Or will I be young David?  Will I remember all God has done for me and trust Him to work in mighty power with something as simple and unassuming as a stone (1 Samuel 17:47-49)?

 

Or will I be Caleb?  Will I stand boldly and confidently in who God is and declare “we are well able to overcome it” (Numbers 13:30)?

 

So I choose to open my hand, let go of my pain, and lean into God’s grace.  Which is more than enough to calm the storm and redirect me into His unexplainable peace (Philippians 4:7).  And what started as a gruesome day becomes a glorious day!

 

Marie Fremin.  9/8/17

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Just Like Peter

I believe God when He says He knew me before I born.  Because He gave me Peter to read about.

 

I have always identified myself with Peter.  Impetuous, quick to speak, a little reckless, daring.  But always at his core loyal, loving, and lively.

 

I know, I know.  How can I call him loyal?  This is the guy who denied Jesus three times in the courtyard (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, John 18).  But in his defense, he was loyal up until that point.  He left his business, his home, and his family to follow a Teacher to who loved and cared for all people.  He was the first disciple to proclaim Jesus as the Christ (Matthew 16:16).  He was the disciple quick to defend his friend Jesus in the garden at Judas’ kiss (John 18:10).  He was the first disciple to race toward the risen Savior on the beach (John 21:7).  He was the voice of the new church on Pentecost (Acts 2).

 

And in his defense, when he denied Jesus, he didn’t know the miracle that was coming.  Sure, he had been told.  Repeatedly.  But it was impossible.  His Teacher was being tried and convicted as a common criminal – and He was going to be put to death.  It was all over, and he had a family to think about.

 

And I personally am not naïve enough to think I would have reacted any differently.  Yes, I can pridefully say I would.  But I would be a liar.  Because in Peter’s shoes I don’t have the advantage we have now – the real end of the story.

 

Once Peter realized the end of the story was different than he thought, his posture changed.  His attitude changed.  His thinking changed.

 

Almost.

 

And here you can hear me chuckle as I think how like Peter I truly am.

 

Last year we hired two shop managers at work.  The first was young and driven by disappointment in having to do administrative work.  When given the choice to be reassigned, he quit.  The second one came with experience and a work ethic.  In preparing to hire him, my only comment was this – “if he starts making more money than me, who has been here 4 years and helped built this business, I will be super pissed.”

 

Really mature, right?  Just like Peter.  When the resurrected Jesus shows up on the beach in John 21, Peter is so thrilled at recognizing Him that he jumps out of the boat and swims to shore.  They dine, and then Jesus has great compassion on Peter by redeeming his three denials before the cross.  He gives Peter three opportunities to say “You know that I love You” (John 21:15-17) and undo his previous three denials.

 

So how does Peter react to all this?  By turning to John and asking “But Lord, what about this man?” (John 21:21).  Instead of glorying in Jesus’ complete forgiveness and love, he turns and wants to know John’s fate.

 

And that was me last year.  “”What are you going to pay him?” was my focus.  Because money is how your value is displayed.  I wanted my value to be denoted.  I wanted my value to be drawn out.  I was Peter, wanting to know how I ranked against someone else.

 

Maybe not the most healthy attitude.  Maybe a little immature.  But four years and the creation of the inventory system started talking for me.

 

And it still talks today.  Not as often, but a little more loudly recently.  Because I see value being assigned, and I see my value tipping away.  I have been somewhat consumed lately watching it.  Just as Peter watched the waves.

 

Peter had it.  He was in the middle of a miracle.  He saw Jesus walk on water.  And it started him thinking.  So he asked Jesus to call him, and then he takes that first (tenuous) step out of the boat.  He has one foot and then two on the water.  And he was still above it!  He gets even bolder and “he walked on the water to go to Jesus” (Matthew 14:29).  But suddenly his focus shifted.  Suddenly the miracle was impossible in the reality of the raging storm.  And in the blink of an eye, he finds himself “beginning to sink” (Matthew 14:30).

Just Like Peter

He let himself be distracted by circumstances instead of focusing on God’s purpose for him.  He destroyed the miracle by looking somewhere other than Jesus.

 

And I laughed at myself this week as I realized I am Peter in that moment of seeing the wind and waves.  I stopped appreciating where God has me and how God is blessing me.  And I saw myself beginning to sink into discontentment, discouragement, and disappointment.  So far from where God wants me to be.

 

And just as He was compassionate to Peter, so too is He compassionate toward me.  He didn’t turn to Peter and condemn him.  He didn’t leave Peter to drown.  “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him” (Matthew 14:31), saving Peter from himself and redeeming his fear for faith.  And as I realize I have been sinking into my emotions, He reaches the same hand to me to pull me up and out.  He doesn’t condemn me, instead offering me the same chance as Peter to redeem myself.

 

And how can I do that?  Start at Philippians 4:6-11 and focus only on God.

  1. Stop worrying about everyone else. It doesn’t matter what they have.
  2. Be thankful for what God has allowed you to have – and do good with it.
  3. You will never have peace comparing and contrasting your life to others.
  4. Change your thinking and appreciate your “lovely” aspects of life.
  5. Be content where God has you and the blessings He pours into your life. It doesn’t matter what you don’t have.

 

And get up every day remembering the Bible is full of far from perfect people.  Peter included.  Yet God still loved each one of them truly, working through them in amazing ways.  Because imperfection is the open door for God to begin doing miracles for us and through us.

 

Thank You, Father, for examples like Peter who remind us we can mess up and still be part of Your miracles.  Thank You for redeeming grace that picks us up and allows us to declare our love and fidelity no matter what we have done.  Help us each to find the Peter of Pentecost within ourselves.  AMEN!

 

Marie Fremin.  9/3/17

Decisions

I’ve been thinking this week about how different my life would be if I had kept my “yes” to get married back in 1997.

 

(Please give me a minute to pass out in realizing this was 20 years ago!)

 

No wedding meant I stayed in Georgia.  I didn’t go back to Tennessee or wind up on the west coast.  So my 20 years of adult life have all been in Georgia.  But what would I have missed if I had chosen marriage?

 

No Chico.  OMG, he was a butthead, but that dog knew how to love.  He didn’t trust easily, but when he did, it was with his whole being.  He helped strengthen an already solid faith in God by showing me every day what true love is.

 

No Melissa or Teri.  These are awesome women of faith who know who God is and believe He can do the impossible.  They have invested in me and engaged in my trials.  They are encouraging and supportive as each day I battle the thorns in my flesh.  And they are always willing to pray for me.  I love you, ladies!

 

No Bettie.  My life would definitely be less colorful and engaged without this sweet adopted grandmother in my life.  I definitely would not enjoy the beauty of a well-placed “bless your heart” without her.  I am grateful to be part of the love and support she has to give.

 

And so many other wonderful people who have come in for a season and allowed me to be part of their journey.

 

Plus a variety of churches to wind up where I belong – in ironically the last place I said I would be.  If I weren’t in Georgia, would I even know who Andy Stanley is?  Would his ministry have had any impact on my life?

 

What about my love of live theater?  Would I have discovered it living somewhere else?

 

And then there is the coming into my own.  Would I have embraced my gift of writing?  Allowed myself to be open to share all my bad moments?  Would this blog even exist?  Or would I have been too busy and distracted to stop and listen?

 

I could be married.  I could have kids.  I could be in another state.

I could be content, or I could be miserable.  I could be settled, or I could be lost.

 

I don’t know where I could have wound up, since those paths are untraveled.

 

But I know where I am.  I know God is using where I am for my good and His glory.  I know God is allowing miracles to happen.  And I know God will keep me and work through me as I continue on my chosen path.

 

Am I sorry about my choice 20 years ago?  I am sorry that people were hurt by my disobedience to God’s guidance.  I am sorry that pain may be the lasting legacy in the memories of those involved.

 

But otherwise, no.  I am not sorry.  I know I did the right thing for me.  I wanted more than I was getting, and I got shortchanged because it was the wrong season for both of us.  Neither of us was ready to handle together what we wouldn’t face individually.  So it didn’t work, and that’s OK.  I think God used that experience to the full extent of His grace to put everyone back into His will.

 

So I look back, and I smile.  I have learned a lot, and none it goes to waste in light of God’s goodness.

 

No, I don’t know what I missed out on because I chose as I did.

But I know who and what I would have missed – and I am so grateful I didn’t.

Decisions

Thank You, loving Father, for all of it – up to this point and into the future!

 

Marie Fremin, 8/27/17

Trust Me?

“Do you trust me?”

Trust me

I was asked this question this week, and it took everything in me not to physically cringe or roll my eyes dramatically.  I was willing to answer the question … and answer it honestly.  Even though I knew the answer would not go over well.

 

But God was gracious, and He allowed it to be a quick question in the middle of a long conversation.  No answer from me was needed.  So no pot was stirred.  No history was repeated.  No feelings were disparaged.

 

But it still got me thinking what a loaded and potentially dangerous and/or life altering the question can be.

 

I don’t mind telling you the truth, about anything.  But I realize that my truth telling is conditional.  Because how honest I am depends on who you are and what the situation is.

 

When you ask me directly, I answer honestly.  There is a really good chance I will be fully honest, holding nothing back.  But I might hesitate at full honesty if the circumstances are sketchy – if I know you will disagree with me, you won’t hear me, you only want me to agree with you (whether I do or not), or you want something use it against me.

 

And I think we are all the same way (if we’re honest).

 

But then a bigger question came up – Do I trust God?

 

It is one thing to have caution and care with people.  But there should be no boundaries, no hesitation, and no doubt when it comes to God.

 

So do I trust the person who asked me the question?  Not fully, at least not in our shared setting.

 

Do I trust God?  Completely.

 

This doesn’t mean I understand everything that happens.

This doesn’t mean I have all my questions answered.

This doesn’t mean I always get my way or my wish.

 

It simply means that I have come to the crossroads of decision and decided that God is the best choice.

 

No matter what the circumstance.

No matter what the emotion.

No matter what the comfort level.

No matter what the company.

 

And King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, says this is the wisest choice to make.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

Trust in the Lord – in all circumstances and with all confidence.  Don’t think you know better.  Don’t assume you are smarter.  Don’t try to convince God your plan is better.  Stop and listen to what He wants to say to you – and then not trust your own wants, desires, and thinking.

 

Maybe he learned this from his father, King David, one of the beloved men of God.  David, no matter what he was going through, always chose to trust God.  When despised and left out by his brothers, he trusted God.  When on the run for 15 years from his father-in-law King Saul, he trusted God.  When God refused to let him build His house, he trusted God.  Through everything he experienced, David chose to live by his words in Psalm 37:3-6 – “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.  Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.”

 

Maybe you aren’t quite there yet.  And that’s OK.  God is waiting patiently for you.  He can be your hope and your healing, your confidence and your clarity, your surety and your safety, your faith and your future.  When you are ready and decide to trust Him.  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:7).

 

Marie Fremin, 8/12/17

My Week

It is amazing how a spirit of generosity and a spirit of peace will be attacked.

 

I went to Joyce Meyer’s Atlanta conference last weekend.  I kept an envelope for each offering, planning to give as I could.

 

Then I show up to work on Monday, full-up on God.  And it was a domino effect of crazy in my office.  Each day someone went off about something.  A different person with a different issue each time.  And all I could do was scratch my head as I wondered “what the heck?” through each conversation.

 

And then it hit me.  I had done something good for my spirit.  I had allowed God’s Word into my eyes, my ears, and my head.  I had soaked my spirit in His truth.  I had worshiped Him.  And I had purposed to be generous.

 

So boom!  I put a giant target on myself.  I brought myself to the attention of the one who hates worship, generosity, and truth.  So his mission became to counteract everything God did in those 2 days.  And he was going to use anything in my path to pull me away from God’s glory.

 

And that meant …

  • A car repair for a sudden issue not covered by an expired extended warranty.
  • A dispatcher who has gone into “that’s not our problem” mode.
  • An office manager who replied with a harsh, drawn out, and sarcastic answer to a simple permit questions.
  • An owner who wants to know all but then gets mad and criticizes when a potential problem is brought to his attention.
  • An office staff who puts empty ice cube trays back in the freezer and never pulls a full / overfilled trash bag.
  • A whole call center disappearing by 3pm on a Friday without warning, when the office is open until 6pm.
  • An email server change, so the techs had difficulty sending email

 

All seemingly small and insignificant things.  Until you shine the light of Jesus on them, so you can see the dark influences conspiring to bring us down.

 

Because the enemy doesn’t want anything good or true or meaningful to take root in us.  He has an agenda and a purpose for us – and it is all about keeping us as far away from God’s goodness and grace as he can.  He hates light and faith and hope, so he wants to steal them from us.

 

And he did a bang-up job with me this week.  Every time I turned around, there was another attempt to steal God’s goodness from me.  And sometimes the struggle to stay on point was lost.  I succumbed to his temptation to walk a little less straight, talk a little less right, and think a little less true.  I became the bad seeds Jesus talks about in Matthew 13.

 

Matthew 13:3-8Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

 

Notice there were 4 results from the same seed being sown.  We have 4 possible responses to anything we experience – but only 1 of them is true and produces eternal echoes.  And we decide what it will be.  By our choices.  By our responsiveness.  By our attitudes.  By whatever we are intentional about doing, chasing, and thinking.

 

Yet we tend to do exactly what I found myself doing – echoing the ways of the world.

We let confusion cloud our perspective.

We let fear delegate our direction.

We let popularity define our identity.

We let feelings draw and/or obstruct our path.

We let greed choke out our love.

We let circumstances hinder our hope.

We let trials impact our thoughts.

 

When we need to stop, reflect, and let God take complete control.  We need to choose to let go and be still.  No stones in our hearts or hands.  No dry places in our understanding.  No cares in our thoughts and words.

 

Just open hands and an open heart, so we become “the good ground” (23) in which God can always do a good work – in us and through us.

 

So if I want my life to be productive and effective, then I have to learn to stop my tongue and control my thoughts.  And this is a battle I face every day.

 

I didn’t get it 100% right this past week.  No, I didn’t bite back or allow an argument to brew.  But I did do a lot of eye rolling.  I did have many care-full thoughts that wanted to bend to condemnation.  I did try to stand in judgment and compare behavior.  I did have a stressful day at least one of those days worrying about what would happen next.

 

I see where I went the wrong direction.

I see where I didn’t lean toward God’s best.

I see where I let my feelings dominate me.

I see where the darkness stopped my progress.

 

Thank God He won’t give up on me!  Thank God He allows me to learn from my mistakes and bad choices.  Thank God He loves a work in progress.

 

So this masterpiece isn’t finished yet.  One bad week won’t delegate my future or define my identity.  It will, however, draw me closer into God’s grace, allow me to receive His direction, and show me the beauty of forgiveness.

 

So I will reflect on what I have done and how I could do better in the same circumstance.  I will continue to work on being less like stressed out and fearful Israel standing on the bank of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:10-11).

 

That means I need to lean more into the wise advice of His Word:

  • Stop and trust God is in control. Exodus 14:13-1413 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
  • Stop thinking so much about me and my ideas of right. Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own  understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
  • Stop being critical. Matthew 7:1-5 – “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
  • Remember how two wrongs can’t make a right and be quiet! Galatians 5:15 – But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!
  • Remember humility. Galatians 5:26 – Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

I didn’t get a lot of this right this past week.  But this coming week is a blank canvas, waiting to be drawn upon.  I will make choices that will add color and shading and shapes.  So Father, help me to do better and be more loving.  Because I know the enemy isn’t giving up on me.  So help me be relentless for You while he is pressing me.  In Jesus’ almighty name.  AMEN!

 

Marie Fremin, 7/30/17

Gospel of Self

Galatians 1I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

 

I’m reading these words this morning, and I’m thinking ….

What does it mean?  How does it apply to me?

 

Because I don’t think I’m not personally trying to change the words of Jesus.

 

But then I have to be completely honest.  Because I have those areas where I want to “edit” His Word to suit my wants, my emotions, and my brokenness.

 

And so I keep thinking ….

Thinking about my choices.

Thinking about relationships.

Thinking about people.

 

And I’m wondering – do we have a group of modern day believers who are “watering down” the gospel to make it fit what we want (now)?

 

Yes, I think we do.

 

How do I know?  Phrases like “God is/will be OK with ___” or “God doesn’t mind that I ___” or “God doesn’t really mean ____”.

 

And it’s a slippery slope.

One choice made, maybe with a slight hesitation or a momentary doubt.

And sin steps in and sows a seed of discord and disharmony.

Another choice made, usually a little easier than the first.

And sin plants another seed to divide us from God.

 

With each step it gets easier to turn away from God’s best.

With each step we get faster at tuning a deaf ear to God’s whisper.

With each step sin grabs another piece of our hearts.

With each step sin continues to divide us from God’s love.

With each step sin convinces us we are right and deserve to be so.

With each step sin pollutes our thinking.

 

Until one day we have turned “the gospel of Christ” we once believed and cherished and revered into the gospel of self.  Because we wanted something just outside of God’s best and just around God’s grace.  So we pushed for it.  We edged around truth.  We reasoned away right.

 

And then, with each word we recite in our gospel of self, we become disconnected from God.  Without realizing (or caring about) the consequences of our choices, we have turned our backs on God and His direction in going after what we want, we think, and we need.  We have allowed a momentary need to override patience, overtake endurance, and overwhelm honor.  We have made ourselves all-knowing and full of wisdom instead of allowing God to speak into our choices.

Gospel of Self

All because we sought to please ourselves instead of God.

All because we want now instead of waiting for God’s best.

All because we follow our feelings instead of listening to His Spirit.

 

Because every moment of every day there is a whisper within us reminding us that anything in God’s kingdom worth having is worth fighting for, waiting for, and working for.

 

But we tune it out.  Because selfishness is easy.  Judgment is easy.  Gossip is easy.  Anger is easy.  Sex is easy.

 

And the things God calls us to take patience, endurance, and self-control.  Godly love is hard.  Godly forgiveness is hard.  Godly temperance is hard.  Godly long-suffering is hard.  Godly purity is hard.

 

And God has me taking a look at my choices – a hard and honest look.  Because I can be an expert writer of the gospel of self.  I can fill pages about what I want, what I think, and what I know.  But usually those pages don’t contain God at all – no grace, no love, no forgiveness, no selflessness.  And these are God’s goals for me.  Because God wants me to think outside myself and beyond my feelings to have impact, to have influence, and to have (good) intentions.

 

Will you join me and start rewriting your gospel of self?

 

Marie Fremin.  7/10/17

 

BONUS material: Here is a visual of the gospel of self versus the gospel of Christ.

Gospel of Self / Man

Gospel of Christ

What I want Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Romans 12:10)
What I feel bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do  (Colossians 3:13)
What I think casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ  (2 Corinthians 10:5)
You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy (Matthew 5:43) But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you (Matthew 5:44)
Microwave mentality (NOW)

instant and immediate satisfaction

Oven mentality (BEST)

Investing time for quality

Galatians 1:6

you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ

Galatians 2:5

we did not yield submission even for an hour, that the truth of the gospel might continue

Galatians 1:7, 5:7

there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ … [to] hinder you from obeying the truth

1 Thessalonians 5:21

Test all things; hold fast what is good

Galatians 1:10

do I seek to please men?

Galatians 1:4

[living] according to the will of our God and Father

Galatians 1:11

gospel … according to man

Galatians 1:12

gospel … through the revelation of Jesus Christ

Galatians 1:14

being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness

Galatians 1:16

immediately confer with flesh and blood

Hebrews 4:16

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace … in time of need

Galatians 2:4, 5:1

that they might bring us into bondage … entangled again with a yoke of bondage

Galatians 2:4, 5:1

liberty which we have in Christ Jesus … liberty by which Christ has made us free

Galatians 2:12

when [James’ men] came, [Peter] withdrew and separated himself, fearing who were of the circumcision

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Galatians 2:13

carried away with their hypocrisy

Matthew 26:41

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak

Galatians 2:14

you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, … compel Gentiles to live as Jews

Romans 12:9

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good

Galatians 2:16

justified by the works of the law

Galatians 2:16

justified by faith in Christ

Galatians 2:20, 5:16

the life which I now live in the flesh … [and] fulfill the lust of the flesh

Galatians 5:24

those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires

Galatians 2:21

righteousness comes through the law

Galatians 5:5

the hope of righteousness by faith

Galatians 2:21

set aside the grace of God

Romans 3:24

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

Galatians 3:1

Bewitched … that you should not obey the truth

Romans 6:16

 obedience leading to righteousness

Galatians 3:3

being made perfect by the flesh

Galatians 3:11

the just shall live by faith

Galatians 3:18

inheritance is of the law

Galatians 3:18

God gave [inheritance] to Abraham by promise

Galatians 3:28

There is … Jew [and] Greek, … slave [and] free, … male [and] female

Galatians 3:28

you are all one in Christ Jesus

Galatians 4:3,9

in bondage under the elements of the world … the weak and beggarly elements

Galatians 4:7

you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir

Galatians 4:16

I become your enemy because I tell you the truth

John 8:32

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

Galatians 5:6, 6:15

circumcision or uncircumcision avails

Galatians 5:6, 6:15

faith working through love … [as] a new creation

Galatians 5:13

use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh

Galatians 5:13, 6:10

through love serve one another … let us do good to all

Galatians 5:15,26

you bite and devour one another … become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another

Galatians 5:14

You shall love your neighbor as yourself

Galatians 5:18

under the law

Galatians 5:18

led by the Spirit

Galatians 5:19-21

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; …

Galatians 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. …

Galatians 6:3

thinks himself to be something

Romans 12:3

not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly

Galatians 6:8

he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption

Galatians 6:8

he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life

Galatians 6:9

grow weary … lose heart

Galatians 6:16

peace and mercy be upon them

Galatians 6:13

that they may boast in your flesh

Galatians 6:14, 1:24

boast … in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; they glorified God in me

Joshua 1:9

Joshua 1:9 – “ Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

This verse was part of my daily devotional yesterday.  And I’ve read it many times before.  But I never noticed or thought about our part that God spells out.

 

God is giving Joshua a pep talk and setting him into motion.  He has had plenty of time to grieve his mentor Moses, and now it is time to get up, wipe away his tears, gather Israel, and march into God’s promised land.  Literally.  As Israel’s leader.  And he saw first hand how Israel treated Moses.

 

So God is reassuring him He is in control.  He will be with Joshua to guide him and help him.  He will take care of Joshua and Israel every day.

 

Joshua just needs to make the right choices every day.

  • Be strong
  • Be courageous
  • Be not afraid
  • Be not dismayed

Joshua 1v9

Because Israel is going to see unbelievable things.  They will be bombarded by fear.  They will encounter giants.  They will be surrounded by obstacles.

 

But none of it will be more powerful or bigger than their God.

 

So they have no reason to fear.

They have no reason to succumb to hopelessness.

They should never be discouraged.

They should never wallow in despair.

 

They need to choose to look at God instead of the giants.

They need to choose to trust God instead of their emotions.

They need to choose to walk with faith instead of being dragged by fear.

 

They need to choose courage.  They need to think strong, stand strong, and speak strong.  They need to decide not to lose heart at the intimidating things they will see and hear.

 

They need to choose faith.  They need to have complete confidence that God will see them through.  They need to trust that God is taking care of them, protecting them, and placing them.

 

They need to remember who God is and what He has promised.  And just in case anyone forgot, He repeats Himself – “the Lord your God is with you”.

 

Your God.  Not any other people.  Specifically you.  I am God with you.  Always.

 

So every day remember ….

No matter what you see and how scary it looks, I will be with you with mighty power and signs.

No matter what you feel when faced with obstacles, I will be with you with peace and strength.

No matter how difficult the battle looks, I will be with you with strategy and victory.

 

And trust Me.  Completely.  Let go of fear, distress, and terror.  Never pick them up.  Never drape them over your thoughts and words.  Never surrender to their wrong influence.  Never follow their misleading direction.

 

Instead, choose to gird yourself with courage.  Choose to strengthen yourself with faith in Me.  Choose to focus on Me and what I can do for you.  Instead of looking at your limited abilities.  Be bold in My name.  Be bold in My power.  Be bold in My promise.

 

Remember I am for you.

Remember I am with you.

 

And choose strength.

Choose courage.

Choose to be fearless.

Choose to be hopeful.

 

Choose to follow Me.

Every day.

And the journey will be a story worth telling.

 

Marie Fremin.  6/28 and 7/9/17